Small Space – Large Range Miniaturized RFID Sensation
Small Space – Large Range
Miniaturized RFID Sensation
RFID labels have long become part of everyday life and the retail sector is also increasingly using these labels enabling contactless readability. When all the merchandise of a store is tagged in this way, customers don’t have to place any items on checkout conveyor belts and employees don’t have to scan them. While the error rate drops, checkout speed increases dramatically. Even so, DIY stores haven’t been using RFID on single screwdrivers, stationery shops haven’t applied it to pencils sold separately, and kitchenware departments haven’t been marking individual glass straws with RFID so far. One of the reasons is that up until now no RFID labels with long read range that can be applied to small round objects have been available. Now, Schreiner LogiData has managed to create such labels.
For the experts from Schreiner LogiData that have been pioneering the development of RFID labels for many years, this was anything but an everyday challenge. “We had to resolve several issues,” says Hartmut Wiederrecht, RFID development team leader at the Schreiner LogiData competence center. “The greatest challenge, no doubt, was the small space.” On small and very small round objects, the available width for the label is extremely limited. That’s a problem not only because the label has to accommodate the entire antenna with a chip but particularly because small antennas can only achieve short read ranges.
Especially the very small curvature radii made exacting demands on the development team. On the one hand, the label design and adhesive had to be tailored precisely to suit these conditions. The label has to permanently adhere to the heavily curved surface, which poses a much greater challenge than flat surfaces. On the other hand, the curvature radii required specialized antenna design expertise because the antennas have to achieve adequate read ranges for bulk reading. The RFID experts managed to resolve all of these challenges.
For Hartmut Wiederrecht, that’s a great success story: “Sometimes the small size is the biggest hurdle. We’re very proud of having achieved this RFID label development for very small round objects.” The label delivers yet another benefit: the processing specialists from Schreiner Services have developed an automated applicator for reliable processing of this miniature label. Even though it may not be adorning screwdrivers, pencils, or glass straws anytime soon, the small label is a big promise for the pharmaceutical industry, the automotive sector, and general industrials.